Apple had been teasing the event on Monday for weeks and it looked like they were set to unveil some really ground-breaking stuff. When the event finally happened, it gathered some mixed reactions. Apple fanboys hailed the company for doing a great job and those against it slagged it off, like always. They did end up unveiling a lot of things but something just felt a bit off. Don’t get me wrong, the event was not bad at all. They announced a lot of new services some of which could potentially disrupt industries. However, it just did not feel like an ‘Apple event’ and there was something weird going on.
The most non-Apple thing about this whole event was that no substantial details of the products were actually revealed. Apple doesn’t usually do this. They come out on stage, announce a product, and launch it within weeks with pricing and everything else revealed at the event itself. This time, however, they came out, gave some vague details about what the product is going to be, and that was it. We did not get any pricing, any release dates, or any real demo of what the product might eventually look like. It just felt bizarre watching Apple just throw products that are not fully baked yet out there and walking off. Most of the things revealed at the event were already known to most people because of rumours and leaks. The event did not answer any questions. In fact, we all came out asking even more questions than before.
The first announcement to come out of the event was of Apple News+. As the name suggests, it is a subscription based news service that would have magazines and newspapers. I feel like this is a good way to revive the traditional news media which has been on the decline for a long time. However, it is the implementation that seems just not ready in any way. Half of the magazines on the service are in PDF format rather than the Apple News format. This just decreases accessibility and generally ruins the experience. I don’t think Apple would recommend these articles in the News app but just standardize the whole thing, please.
There is a lack of very important and good newspapers but that could be fixed with time. The app also feels very buggy and seems to be a work in progress; again, something that can be fixed with time. If the product is not ready, why would you even release it. It just baffles me to my core.
An Apple credit card? I’m sure we’ve heard this before. Apple actually used to make credit cards back in the 80s but as with a lot of things from that time, that product didn’t take off either. This is Apple’s second attempt at making a standardized credit card. Apple Card offers simplicity, privacy and convenience. The card is made of titanium, in typical Apple style and looks pretty sleek and cool. However, should you trust Apple with this? The answer to this is still up in the limbo world. We don’t know yet.
I do not have a problem with Apple handling my privacy. Their whole tagline has been based around privacy and I do think they can handle my data better than a lot of other companies. In addition to that, the card has some neat features with full real time transaction tracking in the app, cash back rewards, and signing up right on the phone just adding to that simple and convenient experience all Apple products boast. I just do not know how I feel about getting trapped inside the Apple ecosystem. It feels like they’re trying to build a future where even the walls of your house are going to be made by Apple. No one company should have that much control over our lives.
The new Apple Arcade is Apple stepping into the subscription based gaming model. It is, in no way, going to compete with the mainstream gaming services like the Xbox Game Pass. We do not know a lot of details yet, apart from Arcade having offline playability, exclusive games and no in-app purchases. The price of the service is unknown and so is the games library. Who is this product for, though? I don’t think an average gamer spends a lot of time playing games on a phone, especially with how bad the touch screen controls usually are. It looks like Apple is targeting a niche audience of either kids with rich parents or people who genuinely do spend a lot of time and money on mobile games. The people who spend a lot of money on mobile games usually stick to a single game though.
However, not knowing the price and library leaves us with not being able to make a judgement. If Apple manages to get some really good games on the platform, this model could potentially be adopted by others. On the other hand, if the price is too high or if the games are not unique enough, consumers would have no reason to opt into the service. We also have no details on how the game developers would view this service. I presume that the ones with successful games won’t care about it as they already earn way more than the returns this service would offer. I feel like Arcade would eventually end up being full of older paid games with dying player base or games from smaller studios. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Everyone saw this coming from a million miles away. There were a ton of rumours about Apple bringing its own Netflix styled video service. Apple is not spending billions on a TV service just to sell some Apple TV boxes. Apple wants domination. The concept of Apple TV+ is great but the announcement was lackluster. We just got a vague launch time with literally not even a hint of pricing. We also never got announcements for any shows. Instead, we got a bunch of weird light-up reveals of random celebrities.
However, one positive to come out of the announcement was the fact that Apple TV+ is going to roll out everywhere. It also would not have country-based content restrictions like Netflix which is great. I still do feel like Apple should have waited until they actually had something to show. Talking about the future is great but walking the talk is a whole different beast.
Why did Apple change its ways?
We all know that Apple stocks have been on the downward spiral as of late. The iPhone sales have been on the decline for the past few years because of just how good the competition has gotten. I think Apple realizes that something needs to be changed. iPhone sales are not going to grow at the rates they used to. Apple needs to come up with alternative ways to earn money, hence diving into the deep end of the services business.
This is not Apple’s first rodeo, they’ve had years of experience and I do believe they can pull all of this off. However, they could have revealed things when they were ready. All we got was the usual ‘coming out later’ over and over again. They might have a reason to rush things like this though. I feel like this Apple event was geared more towards investors than the actual customers. Apple just wanted to gain the investors’ attention and trust. They had to come out early to save the stocks and also create hype for the future. A very non-Apple thing to do but desperate times call for desperate measures.